Government rejects David Bain's bid for compensation - but he says they got it wrong video


David Bain maintains his innocence from his doorstep.

David Bain says he's innocent and that the Government got it wrong.

Speaking from his Christchurch home after the announcement that he won't receive a compensation payment, Bain said "the fact of the matter is I'm innocent and there's nothing else I have to say".

"The Crown and everyone who has had anything to do with this, Mr Callinan, Ms Adams, and Judith Collins, they all got it wrong," he said.


David Bain has been denied compensation, but will $925,000 in an ex gratia payment.

While Bain's bid for compensation was rejected after he was unable to establish his innocence on the balance of probabilities - he will instead receive an "ex-gratia" payment of $925,000.

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ROSS GIBLIN\Dominion Post

Justice Minister Amy Adams announces the Government has rejected David Bain's application for compensation after he failed to prove his innocence on the balance of probabilities.

The payment is in recognition of the time and expenses incurred by Bain's team and a desire by the Government to avoid any further litigation.

Bain, 43, spent 13 years in jail after being convicted in 1995 of the murder of five family members in Dunedin.

A 2012 inquiry by retired Canadian Justice Ian Binnie found Bain had proven his innocence on the balance of probabilities and recommended Bain should be compensated.

David Bain underlined his innocence at his home after the Government denied him formal compensation.

David Bain underlined his innocence at his home after the Government denied him formal compensation.

However Justice Minister Amy Adams, who announced the decision in Parliament on Wednesday, relied on a subsequent inquiry by Ian Callinan QC, which did not establish Bain's innocence.

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Adams said there will be a range of views on the payment being made to Bain "as has been the case with everything" related to him.

While it is not unusual for parties to reach settlements in negotiations, there is no precedent for this settlement in terms of it involving an application for Crown compensation.

MORNING REPORT/Radio New Zealand

Long time friend of David Bain, Patti Napier, says payment means he is able to move on with his life.

"Since receiving Mr Callinan's final report it has become evident that Mr Bain and his advisors didn't accept Mr Callinan's findings. They made it absolutely clear that they intended to legally challenge that report, leading to considerable further cost and delay in this matter," Adams said.

On accepting the "ex-gratia" payment the Bain team signed an agreement saying no more money would be sought.

Bain's long-time supporter, Joe Karam, said the payment to Bain had not yet been received by his lawyers and until the settlement is complete he is "constrained from comment".

David Bain has rejected the Government's decision and underlined his innocence.

David Bain has rejected the Government's decision and underlined his innocence.

Labour's justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern said the ex-gratia payment was a result of the Government's "botched" process.

She said the Minister had "shelved" one report and commissioned another which highlighted flaws in the handling of the inquiry. 

"All of it's been costly, all of it's been dragged out. The fact the process itself has taken six years is problematic. At every point there's been mistake's made."

Adams said it "hasn't been a shambles" but that it's taken far longer to settle than most people would have wanted.

David Bain, left, with his long-time supporter Joe Karam.

David Bain, left, with his long-time supporter Joe Karam.

"I'm very pleased the matter is concluded. No doubt there will be a range of views and some very strongly held views," she added.

Adams revealed that she has spoken to Bain during the process to hear his concerns.

She said she has no resistance to speaking to him now but can't imagine that there would be a lot more to discuss.

David Bain at the start of the jury's first full day of deliberation of his re-trial for the murder of his family.

David Bain at the start of the jury's first full day of deliberation of his re-trial for the murder of his family.

The Minister won't say whether she thinks Bain is guilty or not, adding that unless you have been involved in every aspect of the case all the way through it wouldn't be "appropriate" to hold a view.

Adams stated that this case is very different to that of Teina Pora, who was awarded $2.5 million by the Crown for his wrongful conviction.

Pora's legal team is pursuing a judicial review of the Government's decision not to inflation-adjust his payment. He spent 20 years in prison for the murder and rape of Susan Burdett - a crime he did not commit.

Tim McKinnel, a private investigator who led Pora's innocence bid, said Bain's ex-gratia payment certainly looked like compensation, regardless of what it's being "dressed up as".

"No matter what people think of the Pora or Bain cases - it is absolutely clear that both men were failed by the criminal justice system in New Zealand and had to seek remedy outside of New Zealand at the Privy Council."

He said the payment to Bain "probably reflects an acknowledged failure in our system to properly deal with miscarriage of justice cases" - it shows the "desperate need for a criminal case review commission".

Adams said Bain's had been one of the most "complex, unique and high profile" cases New Zealand has known, adding that one thing we can agree on is that at some point a final decision was needed.

It's been nearly six and a half years since the application for compensation was made.

Bain was bailed in 2007 after his convictions were quashed by the Privy Council, which found his first trial was a miscarriage of justice.

In 2009, he was acquitted by a Christchurch jury at a retrial.

Callinan's report into whether Bain should receive compensation was leaked in February this year and revealed Bain did not meet the "innocent beyond reasonable" doubt threshold.

At the time, Prime Minister John Key didn't think the leak of the report had disrupted the process, but he warned people not to "jump to conclusions".

Both Key and his deputy Bill English are overseas this week.


20 June 1994 - Five members of Bain family found shot dead at 65 Every Street, Dunedin.

24 June 1994 - David Bain, 22, charged with murdering five members of his family.

29 May 1995 - Bain convicted on five counts of murder following an 18 day trial at Dunedin High Court.

21 June 1995 - David Bain sentenced on each charge to life imprisonment with a minimum period of 16 years.

19 December 1995 - Appeal against conviction, based on exclusion of Dean Cottle's evidence, dismissed by Court of Appeal.

29 April 1996 - Petition for leave to appeal to the Privy Council dismissed.

April 1997 - Joe Karam publishes David and Goliath, criticising aspects of the investigation and prosecution of David Bain.

May 1997 - Joint investigation by Police Complaints Authority and the Police into allegations put forward in David and Goliath commences.

November 1997 - Release of Joint Review by the Police and Police Complaints Authority. Report concludes that the wide ranging attack on the integrity and competence of the investigation by Mr Karam was unjustified.

15 June 1998 - David Bain applies for the exercise of the Royal prerogative of mercy.

June 2000 - Karam successfully defends a defamation claim filed by Detectives Milton Weir and Kevin Anderson.

18 December 2000 - The Governor-General, acting on the advice of Minister of Justice, refers certain questions arising from Mr Bain's application for the Royal prerogative of mercy to the Court of Appeal.

17 December 2002 - Court of Appeal delivers its opinion, concluding that the fresh evidence when viewed collectively gave rise to a sufficient possibility of a miscarriage of justice to warrant a full reconsideration of the case by the Court of Appeal.

24 February 2003 - Governor-General refers Bain's case for full reconsideration by the Court of Appeal.

15 December 2003 -  Court of Appeal dismisses appeal, concluding that three key points of evidence, taken together, would have led any reasonable jury to have found the case against Bain proven beyond reasonable doubt.

10 May 2007 Privy Council concludes that a substantial miscarriage of justice had occurred, finding that nine points put forward by Bain, taken together, led to the conclusion that a substantial miscarriage of justice had occurred. The Privy Council quashed Bain's convictions and ordered a retrial.

15 May 2007 - Bain released on bail by the Christchurch High Court pending retrial.

21 June 2007 - Solicitor General announces that Bain will be retried.

5 June 2009 - Bain acquitted on all five counts of murder following a trial lasting three months.

25 March 2010 - Simon Power, former Minister of Justice, notified of a claim by Bain for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

10 November 2011 - Ian Binnie, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, instructed by Power to provide advice on whether Bain was innocent on the balance of probabilities. Binnie was also asked for advice on any factors particular to Bain's case that he considered relevant to an assessment of extraordinary circumstances.

31 August 2012 - Binnie provides his report in which he concludes Bain is innocent on the balance of probabilities, and that numerous errors in the Police investigation constitute extraordinary circumstances.

26 September 2012 - Robert Fisher QC, a retired Judge of the New Zealand High Court is instructed by Justice Minister Judith Collins to provide a peer review of Binnie's report.

12 December 2012 - Fisher tenders advice to Collins saying errors in Binnie's report mean it would be unsafe to rely on it as a basis for making a recommendation on Bain's claim to Cabinet. The reports of both Binnie and Fisher are publicly released and given to Bain.

30 January 2013 - Bain files judicial review proceedings alleging breaches of natural justice following receipt of Binnie's report.

3 February 2013 - At the request of Bain, Cabinet agrees to put further consideration of his compensation claim on hold pending determination of the judicial review proceedings.

22 January 2015 - Proceedings are discontinued by agreement of the parties.

19 February 2015 - Cabinet announces fresh inquiry on compensation claim.

20 March 2015  - Retired judge of the High Court of Australia,  Ian Callinan, is appointed by Justice Minister Amy Adams.

 - Stuff

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